After two years we're finally just a step away from safe standing being legal in Poland. Supporters should expect the law to go into effect before year end!
It's been exactly two years in late October since the 2015 Mass Event Safety Act was signed by President Andrzej Duda. It was the first since all-seating was introduced to include a provision allowing for safe standing in the future.
In order for standing to be legal once more, one condition has been set, however. Special ordinance has to be submitted by the Ministry of Interior (in accordance with sports and infrastructure ministers) to create infrastructural guidelines for safe standing sections.
Precisely that ordinance is now announced, though still undergoing wide-ranged consultation until next week. If no changes are made, it will go into effect wihin 14 days from announcement of the final version.
Here's what the Polish law would mean, when the 2015 Mass Event Safety Act is combined with new ordinance:
- up to 25% of total stadium capacity could be converted from seating to standing;
- one seat can only be converted into one standing place, no increase in fan congestion is allowed;
- sections for away fans could also be converted to all-standing, however the ratio of standing room should be 4:1 in favour of the home site. In short: home fans have to get four times the number of standing places and, obviously, these cannot be within one area of the stadium;
- the new layout would have to allow for future conversion back to seating should such need arise;
- standing sections must provide clear signage and numbers associated with allocated tickets;
- standing sections must be equipped with staircases on both sides;
- crash barriers need to be installed at distance of no more than three rows from one-another to avoid crowd surges. The barriers have to be permanent, impossible to dismantle during games;
- standing sections must be fenced off from seating sections.